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The Battle Master fighter's Disarming Attack maneuver can make someone drop a weapon at their feet. The only advantage is if others want to dash away or you need to remove a reaction parry from the opponent before they get their own turn.

When the bad guy's turn comes around, they pick it up (free interaction with an object) and go about their business.

Do I have that right?

To my understanding, you wouldn't be able to use your own free object interaction to pick up and/or throw away their weapon (unless you have movement left over, and you're either two sizes smaller than your opponent or you're a halfling) because the weapon is in the enemy's space - not yours.

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There's nothing in the rules to prevent you from interacting with an object in an occupied space (most of the time prohibitions like that in the rules specify held, I think that's a reasonable bar).

Thus you could use your own interact with object free action to pick up their weapon. Though as a DM I may not allow this (since it's more complicated than picking up something in your own space since they may want to contest that). I'd probably make you use an action to pick it up or kick it away (thus it would be up to someone else, or you using your action surge).

That said, there is no prohibition, and picking up a dropped item is a free action. So the most useful thing you can probably do is snatch the weapon up so they can't regain control.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I would have thought that you can't pickup anything not in your own space. \$\endgroup\$ – Karl Dec 19 '14 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ you can reach someone else's space, I'd have to see a rule that prohibited it. Like I said, you might want to make it an action just to model that it's slightly harder, but interacting with an object that's in an adjacent space is completely legit \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Dec 19 '14 at 21:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are there RAW that prevent a regular level 1 gnome from picking up an item 20 squares away? \$\endgroup\$ – Mooing Duck Dec 20 '14 at 0:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mooing Yes reach is defined by creature size \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Dec 20 '14 at 0:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can punch someone in an adjacent square, so I'd say that your hands reach into their square as well, otherwise that wouldn't work. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jan 24 '16 at 9:24
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The rule on a occupied space is as follows

In contrast, you can move through a hostile creature's space only if the creature is at least two sizes larger or smaller than you. Remember that another creature’s space is difficult terrain for you.

There is a note under Space on page 191 that says

A creature's space is the area in feet that it effectively controls in combat, not an expression of its physical dimensions.

There is no specific rule on what controlling a space means other than (1) trying to occupy the same space or (2) move through the same space. The above could be interpreted to mean that you cannot interact with an object in your opponent's space.

But there is no specific rule that specifically prohibits interacting with a object in an opponent's space either. If allowed you could

  • Kick the Item away
  • Pick up the item with a free hand
  • Step on the item, drag it to you, and remain standing on it.

    It can be anything that would take as long as the examples given on PHB page 190

If you have another attack available, you could attack the weapon and try to break per 5e DMG page 246 - 247. A longsword would be AC 19 and have either 3d6 or 4d8 hit points depending on whether you judge it to be Small or Medium size object.

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I would answer the question by saying that ANYTHING is possible in this situation. Anyone could recover the dropped item. Here are different scenarios considering the item falls at the feet of the disarmed creature...

DISARMING CREATURE (or others) recovers the item:

  • Creature has multiple attacks (notably a fighter) and after disarming, uses the next attack to shove or use the push attack maneuver (battle master perk) on the target creature to move it off the way and recover the item with remaining movement.
  • Following the same idea, disarm the creature. Then use the overrun bonus action (DMG p.272) to force yourself through the enemy's space and grab the item on the move.
  • Disarm the creature, grapple it with a second attack then move it away from it's spot for another creature to retrieve the disarmed weapon.
  • ANY other creature on its turn can attempt the last tactics to recover the item before it is the disarmed creature's turn.

DISARMED CREATURE recovers the item:

  • Simple, no one succeeded in retrieving the item the ways described earlier before its turn. Then he picks it back from the ground.

There are way more scenarios possible but those are the ones I came up with...

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Yes - As long as you are a halfling!

Halflings have the racial trait Halfling Nimbleness:

You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.

So, Disarm any Medium or larger creature, then run between their legs, grabbing their shiny magic sword as you go!

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D&D is a turn-based game; however, it is the job of the DM and Players to create an immersive reality. That being said, in reality, if someone disarms you of your blade, do you really think you could just "use a free action" and pick it back up, then proceed to attack them, without any consequence?

Think of it like Inigo Montoya. He disarms you, and holds his blade to your throat forcing you to surrender. If you move to take your blade, you'd be taking an opportunity attack with advantage, and possibly, a straight up death blow. Because he had a weapon held to you.

Now, sure, you could meta game and argue that, well, it would require a feat or a bonus action to "hold a blade or hold action or hold to charge" but in reality, it doesn't. It doesn't at all. You disarm them for a reason, and that reason is not to simply let them pick it back up.

At the very least, you're prone to an advantaged attack of opportunity using their reaction against you. At most, they'd be killing you out right, depending on surrounding circumstances (other enemies or allies in the area).

Just something to consider for other DMs who aren't sure what the purpose of Disarming is since it has no useful ruling, think of it like real life. If you're disarmed, you're not just picking it back up and continuing on like nothing happened. 6 seconds is what a turn is, but these should not be "turn-based fights"; these actions are to be narrated as a story, not like Final Fantasy X.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to see how a Q&A site is different from a discussion forum. If you answer a question based on a ruling at your table, you still need to address the question directly. If you are sharing an idea, that doesn't fit the question and answer format that SE sites adhere to. Also, this edition of D&D changed the terms and triggers for opportunity attacks. Your reference to "attacks of opportunity" doesn't apply to this case. (They are now called opportunity attacks, triggered by moving away from a creature, out if its reach) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 26 at 18:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ (I am not disagreeing with the points you raise, just pointing out a few ways to improve this answer so that it does not attract down votes or votes to remove due to not fitting the format) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 26 at 19:04

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